Last week in Manhattan, when the Art crowd jostled into a thousand openings in Chelsea, I sailed off to Governors Island for the inauguration of Pioneers of Change , a festival of Dutch Design, Architecture and Fashion. After a short crossing from the southern tip of Manhattan we landed on this strange island, with abandoned military and administrative buidings and ghost housing for the officers. The sky was grey, about to rain, and there was something a little sinister in the air, which suddenly made me fear of being taken into custody and held in an endless quarantine.
Eleven identical former officers houses were the scene of installations and workshops by Platform 21. It was funny to think of the regulated life that had probably ruled those rooms where Christien Meindertsma’s giant knitted works now lay on the wooden floor.
Repairing was the main theme. In one of the houses’ kitchen, a calm blond woman was mending plates she had purposely broken by gluing slightly misplaced parts in an artful arrangement.
In another room, a young artist was selling repair kits for damaged walls with yellow, red, and blue tapes to be applied in Mondrian patterns.
But best repairing kit was a wool filler for mending holes in textiles, by designer Heleen Klopper.
I immediately used it to fix the elbows of my old, worn-out jacket from the Sydney thrift shop.
And then I repaired a sweater I had brought with me.
Night was falling, and I returned on the ferry. In the hollow sky, and disappearing high into clouds and darkness, were the two sihouettes of the Twin Towers, drawn from memory by laser projectors.